Title: Sweethearts

Author: Lilya

Genre: Romance/Angst

Summary: Sweethearts is never gonna apply to them. Orihime muses over Renji and Tatsuki.

Main Characters: Arisawa Tatsuki, Abarai Renji, Inoue Orihime

Rating: G

Pairings. Renji/Tatsuki

Disclaimer: nor Bleach nor its characters belong to me.

Author's note: English is not my native tongue – please forgive my mistakes. If some sentences don't make sense, please tell me and I'll try to fix them.

If anyone who read "Something about you" happens to drop by….

Many of you asked me for a sequel of that story – I already started writing it long ago. Unfortunately, everyday life got in the way – and that's an understatement. Among the consequences there was also writer's block – I'm slowly getting over it and it's my intention to continue all my stories, but I can't predict when or when this will happen.

In case anyone was wondering, yes, posting this old ff IS a shameless attempt to make it up to you XD

Sweethearts

"Sweethearts" is never gonna apply to them.

This thought strikes Orihime quite suddenly, as she absentmindedly gazes at them.

It's not that Renji and Tatsuki aren't head-over-heels for each other – because they are, as shocking as it may be.

It's just that – this term simply doesn't suit them. It doesn't describe what they are at all.

Their relationship isn't exactly a lovey-dovey romance. There's no silly pet-name-calling, no giggles, no blushing, no bad-written poetry, no prolonged, languorous sighs and no puppy dog looks across the class.

It's because they're no-nonsense, down-to-heart people, Orihime concludes.

If Renji is stubborn as a mule, Tatsuki is not second to him – which leads to a lot of fights. But it's just the way they are, so there's no pouting and no ballet of blame-and-apologize.

Their story won't end in a fight.

Still, Orihime knows that, beneath her hardened shell, Tatsuki hides a tender, sometimes romantic heart.

Although she can't quite picture him, probably Renji is just the same.

Maybe it's different when they're alone.

She couldn't find a different explanation, birds of a feather and all that follows.

However, the others don't quite see it – they don't understand.

Orihime leans back in her chair and remembers the uproar that followed Renji and Tatsuki's announcement that they were dating.

The brown-haired girl can recall perfectly the sudden silence that followed their words – then, everybody started talking, no, shouting at the same time.

Even Kuchiki-san, who must have guessed something – at least, her words and her lack of shock suggested so.

Even Ishida-kun, who usually didn't pry into other people's business.

At that time, Orihime had been the only one to remain silent.

Later, she had talked with Tatsuki – quietly and privately. Orihime only wanted her to be careful – she was her best friend, she didn't wish to see her heartbroken.

Tatsuki had smiled and told her not to worry, that it took more than a handsome-faced Shinigami to break her heart. But to Orihime, Tatsuki's smile had looked sad.

Not that they weren't happy together. Quite the contrary.

Tatsuki did get stars in her eyes when she was with him.

Renji did smile more warmly around her.

Nevertheless, sweethearts is not a word to describe them.

Then, how could she call them?

Orihime sneaks another glance at them. They're sitting side by side again, only pretending to listen to the president of the student council. Orihime tilts her head a bit and sees that their fingers are intertwined.

They seem to do that a lot – which is a bit strange, considering their personalities. But if you remember that they don't have much time, it doesn't look so weird, after all.

Renji's gaze meets her own and she winks at him with a small smile, then turns away and starts musing over the other words she knows.

Fiancés – that they will never be.

Orihime is a firm believer in happy endings. No matter how desperate the situation is, she'll always find hope to hang on to. You can trust her to spot a ray of sunshine in a stormy day.

But this time, she can't invent a "happily ever after" for her best friend.

Partners – not even this one fits them.

There's far too much fire in them to enclose them in such a cold word.

Lovers – this is a bit better.

After all, they do love each other. Yet, this word holds a negative undertone Orihime doesn't like and doesn't want to associate with them. Even if their story is forbidden, she won't taint it.

Orihime sighs, for she did like how "lovers" sounded – so firm, sharp and romantic.

The only thing she can think about is "boyfriend and girlfriend" but it's far too common for their atypical bond.

A human and a Shinigami.

How would you call them?

She looks at them again.

Maybe there's no need to find a word to describe them. They surely don't feel the need to think about it – they're too busy living the fleeting time they have to the fullest.

That's the exact way Renji and Tatsuki are – out of every law and rule.

They defied law alone long before meeting and when they will be forced to go back on their own, they'll do it once again.

They won't waste their time thinking, pondering and wondering.

Renji and Tatsuki simply are.

Nothing more and nothing less.

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